Manchioneal shock St George's for first Major League title
BUFF BAY, Portland — Manchioneal defeated defending champions St George's 2-1 in a come-from-behind thriller for their first lien on the Portland FA Western Union Major League trophy at Lynch Park on Sunday.
For St George's Bobby-Joe Huie (ninth) scored, while Ryan Rodney (90th) and Christopher Kerr (111st) rallied for Manchioneal.
In a very exciting game and one of the best Western Union Major League finals in years, Manchioneal started out the more attacking of the teams with Rondee Smith, Ryan Rodney and Maurice Clarke leading the charge.
So it was against the run of play that St George's got the go-ahead goal when Demar Easington broke loose on goal and was taken down just outside the penalty area by Maurice Clarke.
From the resulting free kick, Huie headed home into an open goal.
Manchioneal came out attacking in the second half as they pressed for the equaliser, forcing St George's on the retreat. This sustained pressure paid dividends when Kesslon Hall picked up a ball just outside the penalty area, controlled on his chest for teammate Ryan Rodney to shoot past custodian Oraine Hardy.
For winning, Manchioneal walked away with $110,000 and St George's $70,000. Both teams will go on to the Eastern Confederation play-offs.
Winning coach Lamon Henry was elated at game's end. "I give thanks to God for making this possible. I have been carrying this team from day one from they were Under-20, and although we were down one nil, I knew that they would not beat us because of the cohesiveness of this team," he said.
St George's captain Daniel Shaw said a lapse in concentration cost his team the game. "We lost in concentration in the latter part of the game as we were doing our own thing on the field and not following the coaches' instruction," he lamented.
Marketing officer at GraceKennedy Money Services, Prince Royal, was pleased with the competition and looks forward to his company's 20th year of sponsorship.
"It was a very good game and I was impressed with display by both teams and the community support for both teams. We are very proud and pleased with the organisation and we look forward to the 20th renewal next year," he noted.
Portland FA president Garfield Fuller congratulated both teams for a game well-played and well executed season.
-- Everard Owen